Government Accountability Project Asheville

GAP Report for 4/25/22

Apr 25, 2022

URGENT

  • 0 items

PROBLEMATIC

  • 1 item

CONCERNS

  • 1 item

POSITIVE

  • 0 items

The Asheville City Council meets this Tuesday (4/26/22) at 2:30 pm for a budget worksession, and at 5 pm for their regular meeting. You can attend both events in person at Harrah’s Cherokee Center, 87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC. Instructions for watching either meeting online can be found here. You can access the regular meeting agenda here.

There are two items that the GAP Strategy Team identified as relevant to racial justice this week.

q

RED:

Things that seem problematic

Asheville City Council Public Hearing B to consider conditional zoning of 275 Deaverview Road from RM-16 Residential Multi-Family High Density District to Residential Expansion District/Conditional Zone. (Documents, Presentation)

The Asheville Housing Authority is requesting approval for the first of two phases to eventually rebuild all of Deaverview Apartments. All of the planned 82 units will be offered at 60% Area Median Income or less, with some units available for households at 30% and 50% AMI. All units will also accept housing choice vouchers, and will be “designated affordable for a minimum of 30 years.”

While this project promises the kind of affordability that our community needs, we are concerned about the 30 year limit. What happens to the affordability of these units then? Will housing choice vouchers continue to be accepted? We think it’s imperative that City Council answer these questions at this important juncture in the project’s development.

Things to do

We encourage you to reach out to the Asheville City Council via email. Urge them to ensure that the new Deaverview project will be permanently affordable and eligible for housing choice ventures.

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YELLOW:

Things of concern, more information needed

It’s time to revisit the Asheville City Council’s hotel development plan

As discussed in a recent Citizen-Times article, it’s been over a year since the Asheville City Council lifted the hotel moratorium and put in place a new process for hotel development within city limits. This new process included the option for developers to circumvent going before City Council if they made various contributions to the local community, such as donating funds to affordable housing or reparations. Since these new rules took effect, “more than $1 million” has been raised, some portion of which has been designated for reparations.

We are concerned that the present rules neither slow down hotel development nor raise significant funds for reparations. When City Council approved this policy shift in February, 2021, they pledged to revisit the issue once there was data on the impact of the program. We would encourage City Council to fulfill that promise now.

Things to do

We encourage you to reach out to the Asheville City Council via email. Ask them when they will be publicly addressing the impact of their hotel regulation policy change from 2021. Are they satisfied with the impact these new regulations have had on the rate of growth of new hotels in our community? Are they satisfied with the amount of money raised for reparations?